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Sami Faizullah gives his Player Ratings for Bengaluru FC’s derby win over Chennai City.
The first ever South Indian derby in the I-League had an interesting tone to the game. While the newcomers frustrated the defending champions, it was the home side who eventually emerged victorious with two late goals from two super subs.
Amrinder Singh — 6: As with his last game, Amrinder Singh was protected by his defence and apart from a weak shot in the first half and a slow header in the second, he wasn’t called upon by the Chennai City side.
Harmanjot Khabra — 6.5: The midfielder-turned-right back under Albert Roca was once again more instrumental in attack, sticking to his laurels and pushing forward as often as possible. The new signing got in behind Chennai City’s defence, relying on his ability in the channels. But his influence remained minimal as the home side relied on other avenues in attack.
Juan Gonzalez — 8: Another stellar showing from the Spaniard after a solid I-League debut last week. While once again winning his defensive headers, Juan showed another side to his game with his creative vision from the back, threading long balls into the attacking third and even taking a free kick from outside the box in the second half. It was his determination that led to the opening goal, winning his header in the box and laying the ball onto Roby Norales to score.
John Johnson — 7: A rock since his debut, John Johnson, has become the symbol of evergreen defensive solidity at the club. This game was no different as the Englishman won every aerial duel he went into, thwarting Chennai City’s primary sources of attack – long balls over the top and set pieces.
Sena Ralte — 5.5: After a dream debut against Lajong, Ralte had a significantly sub-par game against Chennai City. He started the game brilliantly in the opening thirty minutes, constantly getting forward and displaying exceptional skill with the ball at his feet. But as the game wore on and Bengaluru FC got forward more in response to the away side’s defensive set up, Ralte was caught out of position, tested by Prashanth Karuthadathkuni down the flank regularly.
Lenny Rodrigues — 7: After playing further forward against Lajong, Lenny Rodrgiues played the ‘third centre back’ role in Cameron Watson’s absence (who was out with a stomach bug). The 29-year-old did well in the role, taking up the responsibility of being the starting point of the attack, while also containing his position in a defensive capacity.
Three things we Learned: Bengaluru FC 2-0 Chennai City
Eugeneson Lyngdoh — 6: The 30-year olds’ slow start to the season continued as he struggled to stamp down his usual authority in midfield. While being deployed in a more defensive role, the midfielders’ passing range wasn’t up to the mark while his set piece deliveries, which is often well relied upon, failed to materialise much of note.
Sunil Chhetri — 6.5: Chhetri was deployed as an attacking midfielder, as opposed to one of the three in the attacking third. While the captain managed to put in some neat quick touches, showing how well he’s taken to the new managers’ playing style, he failed to have a significant impact on the match – shadowed by his fellow attackers.
Mandar Rao Desai — 7: Making his first start for the club after joining on loan from FC Goa, the 24-year-old impressed once again following his short cameo against Lajong the previous week. Played out wide in the attacking front three, Mandar Rao was impressive with his footwork, running circles around the Chennai defence. He was sacrificed early in the second half for eventual scorer Roby Norales, but Bengaluru FC supporters certainly have more exciting moments to look forward to from the Goan.
Udanta Singh — 8: Following on from his brace scoring performance against Lajong, Udanta had another impressive showing. The 20-year-old got in behind the Chennai City’s defence, particularly troubling the away side with his movement in the attacking third. He was vital from the right flank, creating a couple of opportunities which failed to materialise before finally seeing the fruit of his hard work when he set up substitute CK Vineeth for the games’ second goal with a cross from the right flank.
Daniel Lalhlimpuia — 7: Played as the central striker in the attacking three, youngster Daniel Lalhlimpuia had a positive game once again. Clearly influenced by Roca’s “pass-and-move” approach, the teenager was fluid in his movement around the box, drawing a couple of good saves from opposition keeper Karanjit Singh. A goal still eludes the striker but more positive displays like this and the coach will certainly have a (positive) selection headache.
Roby Norales – 7: While the Honduran has trained for a couple of days, he wasted no time in making his mark on his new club. Seventeen minutes was the time between which Norales came on as a substitute and broke the deadlock. Latching onto Juan’s header, the 25-year-old found himself in perfect position to strike past the keeper for a debut goal and set the home side on it’s way.
CK Vineeth – n/a: Fresh on the back off an impressive Indian Super League showing, CK Vineeth’s popularity among the Bengaluru FC supporters has only grown. Coming on to a roar from the supporters, the 28-year-old took just nine minutes to get on the scoresheet, sending the stands into raptures.
Malsawmzuala – n/a: The teenager came on with five minutes left but didn’t have enough minutes to influence proceedings.
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